World News

One in six jobs to be cut at BBC as corporation plans to axe 450 staff

One in six jobs will go at BBC as corporation plans to cut 450 staff from regional programmes in bid to save £25million

  • Broadcaster says BBC England must save £25 million by the end of March 2022 
  • Last month 150 roles in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland were to be axed 
  • BBC already had £800m savings target before the coronavirus pandemic  

The BBC has announced plans to cut around 450 jobs across England which could see a number of familiar faces in local journalism disappear from screens.

The broadcaster has said that BBC England must save £25 million by the end of March 2022.

BBC England is the home of the corporation’s local radio stations and regional TV news, and according to the BBC will ‘undergo a significant reinvention’.

It comes after the BBC last month said it was axing more than 150 roles in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Last month outgoing director-general Lord Tony Hall launched a programme of voluntary redundancy across the BBC.

Around 450 jobs will be lost after the broadcaster said that BBC England must save £25 million by the end of March 2022

The BBC already had an £800 million savings target before the coronavirus pandemic led to an additional £125 million deficit.

Helen Thomas, the director of BBC England, said: ‘I’m proud people have turned to us for trusted news and information in huge numbers during Covid-19, proving the importance of our local and regional services. But those services were created more than 50 years ago, have changed very little and need significant reinvention. That has meant taking some difficult decisions.

‘We are in the age of the Facebook community group and the WhatsApp neighbourhood chat. We must adapt to better reflect how people live their lives, how they get their news and what content they want.

‘We’re going to modernise our offer to audiences in England by making digital a central part of everything we do. We’ll take forward lessons from Covid-19 that will make us more agile and more in touch with communities while also ensuring we’re as efficient as we can be. 

‘I’m confident we can evolve our local and regional services while improving our impact and better serving our audiences.’

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said: ‘These are huge cuts which will inevitably have an impact on the BBC’s ability to sustain the breadth and depth of news coverage throughout England which truly reflects the diversity of the nation. 

Last month outgoing director-general Lord Tony Hall (pictured) launched a programme of voluntary redundancy across the BBC

‘We are consulting our members on how these plans will impact on the BBC’s output and the extent to which it will increase workloads on already-stretched newsrooms.

‘The NUJ welcomes the BBC’s commitment to swiftly share vital data on equality impact and stress risk assessments. But we will be seeking greater clarity on how the additional 125 voluntary redundancies will be assessed, and looking for guarantees that a joined-up and robust redeployment process will be carried out. Any attempts to instigate compulsory redundancies will be robustly resisted by the NUJ.

‘The financial challenges are clear – the solution requires public engagement and financial intervention from the Government to ensure the BBC’s survival as an institution prized and valued all over the world.

‘The Covid-19 crisis has shown more than ever the need for an effective public service broadcaster and for trusted, quality journalism in an era of disinformation and fake news. We cannot allow the BBC to sleepwalk into a death by a thousand cuts, which will inevitably see people switch off because they aren’t getting the service they want.’

Labour’s shadow minister for media, Chris Matheson, responded to the news of regional cuts at the BBC, saying: ‘While not unexpected, these cuts are still very damaging and unwelcome. Regional news is among the most trusted with some of the highest viewing and listening figures.

‘Regional investigative journalism, such as Inside Out, have been ground breaking over the last two decades and served a need that cannot be met nationally.

‘Although some of these cuts are caused by the Covid-19 pandemic affecting production, the root cause remains the Government’s decision to slash BBC funding.

‘We’ve seen £800 million lost so far in this charter period, not to mention the Tories’ broken promise on the over-75s’ free TV licence, where the cost of £250 million was passed to the BBC.

‘Ministers need to take responsibility and stop hiding behind the BBC management – the Government caused these cuts, they should stand up and be counted.’

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TV and Movies

Midsommar Director's Cut Collector's Edition On Blu-Ray Looks Fantastic, Includes Foreword By Martin Scorsese

A new Collector’s Edition of Ari Aster’s director’s cut for Midsommar is on the way, and it includes some nice extras and very special packaging.

A listing on A24’s website shows that the $45 USD Collector’s Edition comes with the 171-minute director’s cut of the film in a Blu-ray case that’s covered in a Hårga-yellow slipcase. It also includes a 62-page booklet featuring original art from artist Ragnar Persson. The book features a foreword from none other than acclaimed Oscar-winning director Martin Scorsese.

The 171-minute director’s cut of Midsommar is 33 minutes longer than the theatrical edition. The Collector’s Edition is expected to begin shipping on July 20.

Scorsese’s connection to Midsommar is not totally out of the blue, as The Irishman director is a big fan of Aster’s work. He said Aster’s earlier movie, Hereditary, was “remarkable.”

After the big success of Midsommar, which stars Florence Pugh, Aster is expected to make a lengthy “nightmare comedy.” Given the critical acclaim of Hereditary and Midsommar, we have high hopes for whatever Aster does next.

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OUR home-office printers have been working serious overtime in lockdown.

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World News

De Blasio plans to cut NYPD budget by $1 billion as NYC shootings spike

Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday that he’s come up with a plan to cut or transfer $1 billion from the NYPD’s $6 billion budget and would not guarantee the department’s headcount won’t shrink — even as shootings surge across the city.

“I’m excited to say we have a plan that can achieve real reform, that can achieve real redistribution — while at the same time ensure that we keep our city safe, while we make sure that our officers are on patrol around where we need them around this city,” de Blasio said during his daily City Hall press briefing.

“We can do this, we can strike the balance, we can keep this city safe,” he later added.

However, Hizzoner would not guarantee that the NYPD’s police force would remain at its current level of roughly 36,000 officers.

De Blasio and the City Council must reach an $87 billion budget deal by Tuesday that would cut expected spending by an estimated $8 billion overall.

The plan to slash the NYPD budget comes as gun violence has surged across the Big Apple.

The violence continued across the city over the weekend as eleven people were shot in less than 12 hours Saturday night into Sunday night, including in Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens and Manhattan.

“We have found a plan that will keep this city safe, that will achieve the billion dollars in savings,” de Blasio told reporters Monday, noting that “budget negotiations are continuing.”

When pressed, de Blasio said that the cuts were partially linked back to the city’s $9 billion budget deficit, but added that the weeks of mass protests that followed the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis also pushed him to swing the budget ax.

“The NYPD is being treated clearly in a specific manner,” he said in response to questions.

“A number of agencies have been cut quite a bit, but we’re dealing with a specific reality with the NYPD, unquestionably,” Hizzoner added. “That is because it’s important to show that we’re going to make changes in this city.”

Separately, de Blasio also said his plan would move at least half-billion dollars from the NYPD’s construction and major projects budget to help fund building improvements at youth centers and public housing.

The mayor commented on the recent surge of gun violence in the Big Apple, saying, “You know, I am very concerned about the uptick in shootings. We have to make sure we can handle that.”

“I am convinced we have struck that balance,” he said.

New York City activists — fueled by the killing of Floyd in Minneapolis — have been demanding a $1 billion cut to the NYPD coffers.

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Royal Mail to cut 2,000 jobs in coronavirus management overhaul

ROYAL Mail has announced it will cut 2,000 management jobs as part of a major overhaul following the coronavirus crisis.

The move will save the business £130million in staffing costs next year as it reported a 31 per cent fall in annual profits.

The company also said it was also cutting £300million in capital spending across the group over the next two years.

Keith Williams, interim Executive Chair, Royal Mail Group, commented: "In recent years, our UK business has not adapted quickly enough to the changes in our marketplace of more parcels and fewer letters.

"Covid-19 has accelerated those trends, presenting additional challenges."

He continued: "I’d like to offer my profound thanks to all my colleagues across the group.

"Our UK postmen and women are playing a crucial role in mitigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. They are key workers on the frontline."

More to follow…

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Jet2 and Eurostar cut summer services in 2020 and 2021 due to falling demand in coronavirus pandemic

JET2 and Eurostar will cut summer flights and trains this year and into next due to a plunge in demand amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The budget airline and high-speed railway service are making the changes in line with customer demand and the difficulty of implementing protection measures.

⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates

Eurostar will cut direct services to the French cities of Lyon, Avignon and Marseilles.

The summer services were due to start in May but will no longer be run at all in 2020 or 2021.

Instead, the rail company said it will focus on its main routes between London, Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam.

Eurostar said: "As we restart our service, we are focusing our timetable on our routes between capital cities, which have the highest demand from customers at the moment and shorter journey times."

The company also said its services were operating with restrictions on food services, significantly increased hygiene measures including high-frequency cleaning and the compulsory wearing of masks.

In another blow for the tourism industry, low-cost airline Jet2 is proposing to cut 102 pilot jobs, the Balpa union has said.

The Leeds-based carrier will be reducing its flying programme for 2020 and 2021.


A spokesman for Jet2 said that the airline was facing "complicated" challenges relating to the coronavirus crisis and "changes on an almost daily basis", which had resulted in the need to reduce its flying programme.

"Sadly, the overall effect of these reductions has been the need to propose a number of colleague redundancies across our business," the spokesman added.

He said the company was forced to make "difficult decisions in the current climate".

Jet2 is not due to recommence flying until July 15, by which time it will have grounded its entire fleet for more than three months.

It is the latest airline to issue formal notice of redundancy and start a consultation process with its workforce as the aviation industry struggles to cope with the drastic collapse in demand.

In May, Virgin Atlantic announced that it would be slashing more than 3,000 jobs in the UK across its business and would end its operation at Gatwick airport as a result of the pandemic.

And in June, German airline Lufthansa said it would cut 22,000 jobs and have 100 fewer aircraft, just weeks after the German government injected €9bn to prevent it from going bust.

Virgin Australia also fell into administration after being refused a bailout from the Australian government.

It follows similar moves across the travel industry with British Airways cutting 12,000 jobs and Ryanair ditching 3,000 roles.

In light of the news, Balpa general secretary Brian Strutton said: "This is yet more evidence, if it were needed, of the free-fall in aviation and the knee-jerk way airlines are responding, especially as lockdown is gradually being eased.

"Many of the pilots whose jobs are on the line in Jet2 have just recently moved there after having lost their jobs at Thomas Cook.

"These pilots have been through the mill already."

In the UK, the government has warned against all but essential travel leading to millions of flights and holidays being cancelled, with many saying they're struggling to get refunds for these trips.

Globally, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has warned the Covid-19 crisis will see airline passenger revenues drop by $314billion (£254million) in 2020, a 55 per cent decline compared to 2019.

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